Advertisement

Jon Huntsman won’t try to compete in Iowa

Prospective presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said Saturday that he won’t try to compete in the Iowa caucuses early next year.

Speaking at a Republican breakfast at a North Conway, N.H., hotel and sounding more and more like he’s preparing a run at the GOP nomination, Huntsman tied his strategy to his opposition to federal agricultural and ethanol subsidies.

“I’m not competing in Iowa for a reason,” Huntsman said. “I don’t believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol.”

The ex-Utah governor and former U.S. ambassador to China said subsidies “distort the global marketplace” and lead to food inflation.

Advertisement

“We will be competing vigorously here, in South Carolina and Florida. I probably won’t be spending a lot of time in Iowa,” he said. “I understand how the politics work there.”

Iowa likely would be a challenge for Huntsman, who is viewed with suspicion by some conservatives because of past support for climate-change policies and civil unions. In that respect, New Hampshire may be a better fit.

He has not formally declared himself a 2012 candidate. Iowa is scheduled to hold its caucuses Feb. 6, with New Hampshire expected to hold its first-in-the-nation primary Feb. 14.

seema.mehta@latimes.com


Advertisement